Truck Driver Sacrificed Himself To Save Others

Last week, we reported on an accident that sent a driver over  the Winooski River bridge on Interstate 89 in Vermont.

After watching footage of the aftermath, it’s clear that it’s nothing short of a miracle that the driver survived.

[pullquote align=”right”]”If he’d have crashed into those vehicles top side, those vehicles would have been no match for that truck,” Chief Bergeron said.[/pullquote]

Vermont State Police believe the accident began when the driver of a Jeep Cherokee lost control while driving in the passing lane.  The Cherokee sideswiped a guardrail then crossed into the center lane.  The Cherokee was then rear ended by a pickup.  A Ford Focus that was in the center lane was then rear ended by a truck.  The truck then crashed through the guardrail on the Winooski River Bridge and plunged over the side of the bridge. The truck fell 50 feet.

“The 2003 tractor trailer with a 53-foot box, hauling large rolls of paper from Quebec to Massachusetts, hit the guardrails at a right angle, punching through them. Large sections of the guardrails were left dangling off the side of the bridge, swaying a bit like a lazy pendulum in the muggy nighttime breeze after the crash,” the Burlington Free Press reported.

The truck was severely damaged.  Rescuers were amazed the driver was still alive.
“I could see we had a bad crash,” said Winooski Fire Chief David Bergeron told WCAX. “The carnage was bad.  The tractor trailer truck was in pieces — I mean, literally pieces.  It looked like it had been blown up in a war.”

The truck driver, 37-year-old Danny Gauthier, of Sainte Ann de Sabrevois, Quebec, was critically injured.  He suffered a severe head injury and is still in critical condition.

According to WCAX, investigators believe Gauthier sacrificed himself to save the lives of the others.  

First responders told WCAX that Gauthier saw the accident ahead and purposefully veered off the bridge to avoid slamming into the wrecked cars.

“If he’d have crashed into those vehicles top side, those vehicles would have been no match for that truck,” Chief Bergeron said. “He probably would have walked away and that truck would have probably gone right over the top of those cars and we probably could have seen more fatalities.”

“I know he couldn’t have lived with himself if he had rammed into everybody,” Gauthier’s fiance Danielle Laduke told WCAX.
Video credit: WCAX